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Wardrobe assistant Apprenticeships

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Helping you find a career as a Wardrobe assistant

A wardrobe assistant supports a costume supervisor in helping, hiring and looking after costumes used by actors on screen or stage. For example, if you were working on the Merlin set (Colin Morgan, that one!) then a wardrobe assistant will help find a costume designer who specialises in making 12th-century knight's armour.

A wardrobe assistant will help clean, mend and fit costumes onto actors.

What does a Wardrobe assistant do?
A wardrobe assistant needs to demonstrate practical skills in hand and machine sewing – they are expected to help repair costumes. A typical day for a wardrobe assistant will be:

  • Researching costume designers for the set

  • Hiring and buying costumes

  • Returning hired costumes

  • Packing and unpacking costumes

  • Fitting clothes and accessories onto actors

  • Helping put the costumes and accessories together

  • Mending and altering costumes

  • Cleaning and ironing costumes

  • Looking after the costumes between scenes

  • Storing costumes

  • Keeping a record of costumes and accessories

Skills & interests required for a Wardrobe assistant
A wardrobe assistant needs to be both creative and practical. They need to be able to source fabrics and materials from suppliers (and stick within a budget) as well as make alterations and repairs to costumes with a mixture of tools: from sewing machines to needle-and-thread. The work can be hectic as films, TV shows and plays can have extremely tight deadlines.
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Adaptability
- Attention to detail
- Creativity
- Organisation
- Patience
- Teamwork
What hours does a Wardrobe assistant typically do?
Wardrobe assistants tend to work long and often unsociable hours (depending on the production). A theatre wardrobe assistant will help cover evening performances, six days a week. Assistants in film and television will work mostly in the day.
What environment is a Wardrobe assistant based in?
On a film/TV set, or in a theatre.
How much does a Wardrobe assistant travel?
You may be expected to go on tour with the production team or work away from home, potentially for several months, or even years.
How much does a Wardrobe assistant get paid?
The average salary for a wardrobe assistant is £17,680 per annum.

An experienced costume designer will earn between £18,000 and £28,000 per annum whilst a highly skilled designer will earn upwards of £35,000 per annum.

A wardrobe assistant has the chance to progress onto wardrobe manager and earn between £32,500 to £37,500 per annum.
Perks & benefits
Depending on the nature of a production, you might work with famous actors and be eligible to attend premières and promotional events and parties.

You may, also, be allowed to keep parts of costumes after the production - although this is not always guaranteed!
What qualifications does a Wardrobe assistant need?
There are no minimum qualifications needed for this role. But, having practical skills in hand and machine sewing, pattern cutting and dressmaking will be necessary.

Doing a college course in a fashion related subject will give you knowledge of the industry.

Work experience at community theatres, small-scale film productions or as a temporary helper or runner on film sets will be useful.

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